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Governor Outlines Plan to Re-Open Kansas

Todd PittengerApril 30, 2020

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly Thursday evening outlined a plan for reopening the state.

Kelly said the state will be opened “slowly, gradually, and cautiously”.

The opening will be done through three phases.

In Phase 1 of the plan, the statewide stay-at-home order is lifted on May 4. In its place, mass gatherings statewide will be limited to 10 or fewer. Entities already considered essential functions pursuant to the Kansas Essential Functions Framework can continue to operate.

So what does Phase 1 mean for Kansans? It means that you can go to restaurants – as long as they adhere to proper public health guidelines and can maintain at least 6 feet between customers. It means you can go to the library, and childcare facilities will be open. But please note that under Phase 1, bars and night clubs, fitness centers, hair salons or barber shops and public swimming pools will not open.

Under “Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas,” county officials are permitted to impose regulations that are more restrictive than the Framework, but cannot be less restrictive. Counties do not have to submit requests to the state to institute equal or more restrictive standards.

The State will set the regulatory baseline in each phase of this framework, with Kansas local governments retaining authority to impose additional restrictions that are in the best interest of the health of their respective residents, consistent with the de-centralized public health system outlined in Kansas law. For example, if a county decides to impose a local “Safer at Home” order beyond May 4th or impose additional restrictions not outlined in the EO, they are permitted to do so under certain conditions. Local governments do not have to apply or submit requests to the state to institute any equal or more restrictive standards. Local governments that choose not to impose any additional restrictions are required to operate within the regulatory baseline of the Governor’s EO for each phase.

The Governor will evaluate the state’s disease spread, testing rates, death rates, hospitalizations, ability of state and local public health authorities to contain outbreaks and conduct contact tracing, and availability of personal protective equipment when determining if the state should move to the next “Phase.”

Regardless of phase, the State Health Officer retains the authority to impose additional public health interventions in any area that contains an emergent and significant public health risk as determined by the Officer. Specific business and activity restrictions in each phase were determined by assessing the contact intensity of the service provided, the number of contacts generally possible, and the ability to modify the risk of activities and

Throughout all these phases, Kansans should maintain social distancing, practice good hygiene, remain home when sick, follow isolation and quarantine orders issued by state or local health officers, use cloth face masks when leaving their homes, and continue to clean and disinfect surfaces.

These are basic public health guidelines that will slow the spread of this disease as we slowly re-open Kansas. Individuals are strongly encouraged to resume seeking medical services while following safety guidelines issued by each respective medical facility.

Mass gathering limits for each phase were determined by considering the growing capacity of our public health infrastructure and a measured, gradual approach for loosening restrictions. The Governor reserves the right to loosen or strengthen these restrictions in subsequent phases based on the state’s health progress.

As part of phase 1 the following will not be allowed to open:

  • Community centers
  • Large entertainment venues with capacity of 2,000 +
  • festivals, parades, & graduations
  • Public swimming pools
  • Organized sports facilities
  • Summer camps

Establishments not allowed to open:

  • Bars and nightclubs excluding already operating curbside and carryout services
  • Casinos (non-tribal)
  • Indoor leisure spaces
  • Fitness centers and gyms
  • Personal service businesses where lose contact cannot be avoided including barber shops, hair salons, and nail salons

The Following will be allowed to open:

  • Childcare facilities
  • Libraries

Phase 1 will last a minimum of two weeks.

While the stay at home order is lifted, non-essential travel is still discouraged.

Here is the entire plan:


Copyright © Meridian Media, 2021. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Meridian Media’s express consent.




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